9 Day Southern Lakes
9 Day Southern Lakes
A leisurely circuit around the South Island's top scenic regions. Time to enjoy the natural wonders of fiords, glaciers and our alpine environment. Milford Sound Cruise, Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Cook National Park and the TranzAlpine train are all included in this 9 day itinerary.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $2318 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|8 nights accommodation|
|All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers|
|Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)|
|TranzAlpine Train Journey|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island. Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. Christchurch’s rebuild is underway after the earthquake in 2011 and visitors are welcome to experience the new ‘Transitional City’ to its fullest. The city can be fully explored with easy access to shopping in the ‘Re: START Mall’ and New Regent Street Shopping Precincts.
Stroll along the Avon River and enjoy the new cafes and bars that have reopened recently. Cathedral Square is open and the fresh Transitional Square has been fitted out with large colourful artworks, plants, interpretation panels, theatre space and seating as well as an information booth for residents and visitors.
This morning you will depart Christchurch and travel through the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. Here your coach will take a short break and it’s a great opportunity for you to take in the extreme beauty of this region from the Southern Alps, to the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and the picturesque Lupins that border the turquoise glacial fed lake.
Continue through the Mackenzie Country before arriving at Aoraki/Mt Cook village. Take advantage of your time here and enjoy a delicious three course lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel (not included) or perhaps an optional scenic helicopter or ski plane flight (weather permitting), perhaps you’d prefer to explore the treasures of New Zealand’s mountaineering history at the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre.
You will then follow the Southern Alps south to the tussock covered hills of the Lindis Pass, through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and into Queenstown. (3 nights)
Today is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat as well as several walking trails in the town area.
For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station as well as wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck panning for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.
It’s an early start. Head off around the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau, then into the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, a region rich with dense rainforest, lakes and waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain peaks. Journey through the Southern Alps via the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km tunnel drilled through a solid mountain of rock.
Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your vessel for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the sound far below.
Board the coach for Queenstown, arriving in the evening. If the weather is suitable upgrade your itinerary to include a scenic flight back over the Southern Alps. (L)
Upgrade your itinerary to include a return scenic flight to Queenstown taking in the magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins)
The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Depart Queenstown this morning for your short journey through Gibbston Valley and the rugged Kawarau Gorge passing the tranquil Lake Dunstan into Wanaka. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy this peaceful resort town – take a stroll around the lake or for something a bit different why not visit Puzzling World or the Fighter Pilot’s Museum, pure entertainment for all ages.
Today your coach will arrive mid-morning for your onward journey to the west coast glacier region. Head north past the gorgeous Lake Hawea enjoying breathtaking scenery before arriving at Haast Pass – which is the southernmost pass between the east and west coasts of the south island. Once arriving on the west coast you’ll experience views of jagged mountain tops, brilliant waterfalls and vast rainforests before arriving at Franz Josef. (2 nights)
Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy an optional guided walk on the glacier, a heli-hike or a scenic flight, maybe an unguided walk to the terminal face. Franz Josef Glacier extends 12 kms from the high snow fields of the Southern Alps. The terminal face of the Franz Josef glacier is just 5 kms from the Franz Josef township.
Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5 course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant and a la carte breakfasts both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef Heli Hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!
Board your coach and head north through Hokitika into the small town of Greymouth. Here you will stop to stretch your legs before boarding the renowned TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips to Christchurch. Experience the beautiful Lake Brunner, spectacular viaducts, 8.6kms in the lengthy Otira Tunnel, ice – fed rivers, patchwork farmland and the tussock landscape of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive at approximately 6:05pm in Christchurch.
Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Have a safe trip home.
There are 12 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.
Only downside was that breakfast didn't start till 7.30am long after all trips and transfers had left. It didn't bother us too much but on our last evening the owner/general manager came to speak to us and over a glass of wine (they have complementary canopies and wine available for all guests between 6 & 7 pm) offered us an early breakfast before we left and said that if we had asked earlier would have given us provisions in our room for a continental -style breakfast on the previous 2 mornings. A tip to tell other guests if you use this hotel again. Finally and most importantly, Toni. Such a great person to deal with, nothing was too much trouble and always incredibly swift responses (overnight most of the time) even though we had to change our original dates and re-schedule. Thank you so much. We will recommend you to anyone wanting to visit New Zealand.
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
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A leisurely circuit around the South Island's top scenic regions. Time to enjoy the natural wonders of fiords, glaciers and our alpine environment. Mi... Read More
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